Review: Ritz Carlton Mexico City

Review: Ritz Carlton Mexico City

Mar 26, 2024


January 13th to 16th, 2024


Junior Suite Corner w/ Terrace (4024)

Booked with:

Drew Schindler, Luxevisor



Traveling with:

Team Flighty

Combining a prime location, stunning views from a sleek skyscraper backed by a real estate tycoon, and the Ritz-Carlton name should be a recipe for an unforgettable luxury hotel experience. Let me assure you, it's not. The Ritz-Carlton Mexico City is a high-rise homage to disappointment. While this review may come across as critical, it is firmly grounded in a stay that left me questioning how such a promising concept could fall so short of expectations.

The Ritz-Carlton is located at floors 37-47 in Chapultepec Uno R509, soaring as Mexico City's third tallest building at 241m with 58 stories. It's right on the corner of Paseo de la Reforma, directly across from the Four Seasons.

A high-rise homage to disappointment

I stayed for a company gathering, and booked three rooms - two corner rooms and one deluxe room. The corner rooms came through a deal with Virtuoso, offering a third night free, a deal that wasn't available through their own STARS program, which we used for the deluxe room.

Things kicked off on a high note. The night before checking in, I got an email from my travel agent with some good news: confirmed upgrades for all of us and free club lounge access. The upgrades were already showing in the Marriott app, bumping me up to a Junior Suite and my colleague to an Executive Suite.

But already at check-in, the Ritz-Carlton started to show its true self: my colleague's Executive Suite was downgraded back to the original corner room. It seems the Ritz was either unfamiliar with the concept of "confirmed" or simply chose profit over promises, opting to sell the room to someone else.


My junior suite, while boasting a corner location and a terrace with breathtaking views over the park and cityscape, revealed its beauty to be only skin deep. Upon entry, the stark lack of soul and minimal furnishings was palpable. A spacious initial area greeted me with nothing but a vast expanse of empty floor space, a small table and two chairs playing hide and seek in the corner. On the opposite side, comically narrow closets, almost unable to store more than a single shirt each. Luckily, the room's empty floor became the canvas for a more realistic solution: a disorganized tribute to my entire suitcase contents, because who needs furniture when you have floors?

The main room attempted to blend bedroom and living space, featuring a huge corner sofa, coffee table and chair, alongside a cupboard with a minibar and other amenities. Yet again, an expanse of empty floor space dominated, as the suite stubbornly resisted any attempt at personalization with art, flowers, or anything that might have injected a semblance of life into it.

Diving into the bathroom experience proved to be more literal than expected. Unlike the other rooms, where bathrooms had floor to ceiling windows for panoramic views right from the tub, mine was windowless. However, it compensated with an unintended feature: a private plunge pool, courtesy of a shower that forgot its purpose was to drain water, not redistribute it across the bathroom floor.  Every shower inadvertently converted the bathroom into a mini aquatic center, a feature consistent across our rooms. Adding to the list of oversights, the bathroom also revealed a recurring theme in hotel design negligence: a complete absence of towel hanging options near the sink.

The unexpected addition of the impromptu plunge pool was matched only by the glaring omission of any semblance of a dedicated workspace. Even though the RC website both lists "Desk, writing/work" as an amenity, and "spacious layouts with areas dedicated to work". Working from a sofa and a coffee table is so ergonomically nightmarish it practically guarantees a visit to the chiropractor post-checkout, and with 64 square meters of 'understated spaciousness,' it's not like there was no space for it.

Equally surprising was the intrusion of highway noise, despite my location on the 40th floor. It seemed as though the highway had found its way into my suite, a testament to the curious victory of sound over such heights. If only someone had thought of using insulated glass. Yet, as we marvel at our ability to send humans to the moon, we're still baffled by more mundane challenges, like making an automated system for keeping skyscraper windows clean. Because of this, the amazing views from my suite were spoiled by dirty windows, especially in the afternoons when the sunlight made the dirt even more obvious.

Service and amenities

The service, much like the room's aesthetic, embraced minimalism to a fault. Housekeeping took a particularly avant-garde approach, forgetting to visit my room until 3 PM one day. When they finally graced the room for turndown, not a single towel made the cut. Emboldened by their newfound strategy, they opted to skip the turndown service entirely the next day. My sole request on the stay list - to place the water bottles in the minibar - was also consistently overlooked.

The promised welcome amenity was also absent from everyone's room but mine, where it made a entrance an hour after check-in. After flagging this to my travel agent, one of my colleagues received their amenity on the eve of departure, while the other did not receive theirs at all.

Speaking of amenities, while I'm fully on board with eco-friendly initiatives and applaud hotels for ditching single-use plastics to protect our planet, there's a fine line between being environmentally conscious and compromising on quality. At the Ritz, this line was crossed with their eco-friendly cotton swabs. Made from what seemed like wood, they were so fragile that one snapped in my ear.

The gym on the other hand, was top-notch (my colleague vouched for it, not me). It boasted state-of-the-art TechnoGym gear that even synced with Apple Watch for data logging, a feature he had never encountered it "in the wild." Plus, it featured a terrace decked out with hammocks for post-workout lounging, offering majestic city views—a nice touch for those who like to mix their sweat with a bit of leisure.

The Club Lounge, despite its space and attentive staff, struggled with a lack of direction. It wasn't great for working, with no dedicated spaces, and it didn't quite cater to leisure travelers either. It felt like a space without a defined identity, leaving me wondering what its intended function truly was. However, it was better for working than my room, and the bonus of snacks and drinks were positives.

The lounge's bathrooms also reflected odd design choices:

  • The toilet was installed so low, it forced you into a deep squat session. Perfect for those moments of constipation, as this position is famously known to enhance bowel movements. 

  • The absence of functioning door locks seemed to follow an open-door policy. Much like the opposite of constipation, no matter how much you might wish for it, some things just won't stay locked away.

  • Another stroke of genius was the placement of light sensors outside the bathroom stalls, ensuring you're engulfed in darkness after a mere minute. This leaves you to finish your business in pitch black. Once you stagger out, finally seeing light again, you face the last challenge at the sink. The gap between the faucet and the sink is so minuscule, not even Trump's hands would fit.

Food & Beverage

The Ritz only has one spot for eating, SAMOS Sabores Míos, where they dish out Mexican eats. This doubles as the breakfast restaurant. The sky bar, Carlotta Reforma, also serves some global bites.  And, if you're feeling adventurous without actually venturing out, the building houses Ling Ling by Hakkasan and Cipriani.

Talking SAMOS, I'll keep it short: the meals, from breakfast till dinner, were passable. They didn't quite ascend to culinary heights, nor did they plummet into the depths of disappointment.

The sky bar, though, was initially a standout. A selfie haven boasting breathtaking views, but, contrary to your typical tourist magnet, it was like they couldn't make a bad cocktail if they tried. Every drink was a hit, mixing up new with classic in a way I hadn't tasted before. A Margarita rimmed with grasshopper salt? Absolutely! But, true to Ritz form, something good couldn't last. Come my final day, they overhauled the entire drink menu. I sampled a handful from the new selection – retrospectively, I wish I hadn’t.


"Promises are like pie crusts, easily made, easily broken", and the Ritz-Carlton makes plenty of them, but delivers on none. The building stands there as a testament to what could have been, with each glimmer of potential overshadowed by a series of overlooked details and unfulfilled promises. While the hotel occupies a towering physical presence, its ability to deliver a service and experience to match remains firmly grounded. 

While I've yet to experience Las Alcobas or Polanco Villa—both touted as top-tier accommodations—it's a pity that such a vibrant and bustling metropolis lacks a truly standout hotel. With it's tranquil courtyard, the neighboring Four Seasons offers a serene escape from the city's hustle and bustle. However, its rooms are in dire need of an update (though, at least they come with furniture). In contrast, the Ritz really captures the city's energy, boasting stunning views and a more modern ambiance. An ambiance so 'modern' that they seem to have invented their own future where guests dread both service and furnishings. Combined with one of the heftiest price tags in the city, it's hard to recommend a stay here unless you enjoy admiring the sunset through grimy windows. Perhaps the bar is still worth a visit for a drink, although who knows what they're serving now.